Friday, July 27, 2018

all over but the dishwashing

In terms of actual office work, I accomplished precisely zero today: I finished cooking around 5:30 a.m., got maybe three-and-a-half hours' sleep, then lugged the rest of my food to the office. I spent the next couple hours prepping. Then came the massive food service, which went well because I divided our R&D room into various "stations," with large-print signs showing people the order in which to obtain their food: get your plate/bowl and bread here, go here for burgers or here for chili dogs, go here for condiments and trimmings, and go here for sides and drinks. There was a bit of confused milling about, but overall, people figured out what to do and where to go in the end. I didn't eat until I was sure everyone had eaten first; the chili bowl was amazing: my modified version of Chef John's chili is pretty fuckin' good.

The day wouldn't have gone nearly so well without the help of the rest of the R&D staff, who brought chairs over from the nearby conference room, provided drinks and desserts, and helped me with various aspects of food prep, including the slicing of a mountain of onions that made certain coworkers cry. One staffer gamely manned the burger station, reheating my burgers on a low flame and topping the patties with cheese; the Korean staffers seemed more interested in the burgers than in the hot dogs, although some staffers did come to the sausage station (which I manned). Almost none of the Koreans were interested in chili dogs; a few of them asked for the kraut dogs (sauerkraut courtesy of my boss). The chili itself, however, was a hit, and after all was said and done, I went from about two gallons of chili to only a couple cups of it. Not bad.

Members of the Korean "ipshi" team came up to me afterward to thank me for the lunch and to say the food tasted great (the team also helped wash all the dishes). That's what I live for, so I was happy to receive the compliments. One of our own staff members, the lone Korean lady in an all-foreigner department, said she wanted the remaining pile of raw, sliced onions because she could make a Korean stew with them. I was happy to give all the onions away. Other coworkers skipped away with bagfuls of cornbread, corn salad, and baked beans. In our office fridge, we have a ton of leftover hot dogs, American cheese, and various trimmings and condiments like pickles and sour cream. I think we'll plow through these leftovers over the course of next week.

I did take some photos; expect those to be up sometime this weekend. Right now, I'm exhausted. I have to wash a bunch of dishes, then tote a pile of containers back to my place, then wash those containers. At some point, I also need to talk about why I was up until 5 a.m. cooking burgers and toasting buns.


Anne in Rockwall, TX said...

Insane! So glad it went well. Have you talked with your boss about the company contributing to the cost of these luncheons? Seems like you are taking on a hefty financial burden.

Kevin Kim said...

Annie C,

This was the largest such luncheon I've done, and yeah, I do need to think about the financial burden. Originally, it was my boss who had suggested that we invite other departments to eat lunch with us, and at the time, compensation wasn't discussed at all. I need to ponder how I'm going to handle such meals in the future; they are super expensive (but not budget-wreckers) and rather time-consuming to prepare. I do this because I love cooking, and if my food makes people happy, that's all the better. But money is a practical issue, and I'm either going to have to ask for some sort of compensation, or going to have to reduce the frequency of these shindigs as a way of saving both money and energy.